Happy Birthday to My Grant.

1 May

A few weeks ago, I flew to Los Angeles to surprise my man for his birthday. Wow. What an adventure.

First things first, I learned that “lying” to Grant – even in the name of keeping something a surprise – is incredibly hard for me.

The weather in The Ark was awful when I left. I drove through 2 hours of torrential rain (complete with earthquake-like thunder and lightning bright enough to think it’s fake) to get to my brother’s house in Muskogee, OK, so I could fly out of Tulsa at 6:00AM. The drive was so bad, I actually thought I may have to pull over and sleep in a stranger’s barn, ruining the entire surprise. That didn’t happen. I love flying out of Tulsa, because it gives me a great excuse to see my brother and his wife Lindsey, but the drive there can be pretty rough at times.

Before I went to bed that night, I talked to Grant. After having just watched a movie that we mutually love, he told me repeatedly how much he missed me. He thought I was at home in AR and didn’t realize that I had such a sneaky plan up my sleeve for the next morning. In his mind, we were still 6 weeks away our next scheduled visit.

Adam drove me to the airport at 4:00AM for a flight at 6:00… that’s Standard Time, so in Pacific Time, it was horribly early. For the first time ever, I sat next to someone I actually liked on the plane. She reminded me a lot of my friend Blythe, but she was almost my same age. She even had 3 kids (2 girls, 1 boy) just like B, and her husband had a Kirby-ish beard. It was almost too weird how familiar it felt to hang out with her and her fam bam. She and her husband were on their way to OC for her brother’s wedding and we chatted the entire trip home, while trying not to fall asleep.

I got in at 7:30AM (PST) and my sister Amanda picked me up from the airport. It was great to see her. I hadn’t seen her in 5 months!

We drove to Grant’s house, picking up a tray of cinnamon rolls and candles, on the way. His roommate let us in the house, where we lit the candles and I walked in to my sleeping boy’s room.

It was the best surprise I’ve ever pulled off.

After the immediate shock and confused words, he stared long and hard at me with an expression that said “I’m waiting to wake up”. Haha. How fun. When he realized that I was really there and that it wasn’t a dream, the happiness began and the exhaustion of keeping secrets became overwhelming. I was home. I was happy. I was tired, but totally high on my happy.

That weekend was full of “bests” and was action packed with memories. We got to spend time with Eric and Haley at The Grove, Chrissy, Doug, little Magnolia, Nina, Sean and Eiko at Disneyland (also saw Amber and little Tessa in the parking lot!), Grant’s parents and Hillary, my family at the beach, Blythe and Kirby and lots and lots of old friends at the Troubador, where The Head and the Heart were playing a sold-out show (thanks to Blythe for the impromptu tickets… and her brother being in the band). I also got all of my bridesmaids fitted into their dresses, spent some extra quality time with Christiana and Maggie, and even managed to hike good ole’ Fryman, twice!

From eating at Griddle Cafe, to Blue Jam, to Joan’s on Third, to Disneyland, to the Observatory, to Fogo de Chao, to Trader Joe’s, to Cherry on Top, to the Blue Plate Oysterette, to the beach with my family, to good bottles of wine, to spicy salami, Manchengo and olives, the entire weekend was amazing. The best part? I got to be with the love of my life for 4 1/2 days of sunshine and bliss.

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